A Fuel-Electric Hybrid Air Car Shall Fly

Trek Aerospace is one of those laid back Silicon Valley companies people have likely seen an invention of in action, but didn’t know it was developed by them. Trek is known in aerospace circles mostly for its shrouded propeller (“ducted fan”) technology, having developed and flown in 2001 the SoloTrek XFV, a single person VTOL aircraft. Springing now from that beginning are aircraft designer Michael Moshier, and test-pilot Robert Bulaga in the development of the world’s first, fuel-electric hybrid air car.

Moshier and Bulaga are looking to form a new company around this flying car venture, according to an announcement from the two of them. Using the same ducted-fan technology as the SoloTrek XFV, as well as new technological advances in materials & electronics, the hybrid air car is a multi-passenger design the two hope can become a reality.

Fuel-electric Hybrid Air Car

image via Michael Moshier/Robert Bulaga

A variety of scenarios are envisioned under which this vehicle might be used. In third world countries, for example, it could fulfill certain critical needs given its ability to to take off and land anywhere. In more developed nations, it could provide what its designers say is a “unique solution to normal day-to-day and emergency transportation challenges resulting from metropolitan gridlock.”

Development is slated to be done in the U.S., say Moshier and Bulaga, but they are seeking financial backing to help get things off the ground. The original SoloTrek XFV, supported in part by $5 million in funding from DARPA, along with collaborative design assistance and wind-tunnel testing facilities at NASA Ames, was a first pass at future personal transportation technology, and now this new design looks to be the next.

Curious about other forms of green tech transportation? Read more about them here.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply July 1, 2011

    Phil Heston

    First off, this isn’t some fantastic invention, it’s a helicopter made to look more like a car. None of the “scenarios envisioned” for this vehicle are any different from what a helicopter can do and has done for decades. The fact that it’s a hybrid powertrain adds little to its usefulness, and may actually make it more environmentally damaging because with flight you’re fighting gravity, and having two fuels and two motor types is almost certainly going to add to the weight.nnAnd note to all those who thought they’d like one of these: whileu00a0I understand the obsession with owning a flying car, they will never be a reality for consumers. First, there is next to no trip that they can do more efficiently than a ground-based vehicle (helicopters are actually pretty inefficient with energy), which in a resource-constrained world will become ever more relevant, and second, the whole idea of licensing the mass market of people to drive these things is laughable.

  • Reply July 3, 2011

    Thomas - EV

    Seems that the air will be as jamed as the streets in the future! 🙂

  • Reply September 6, 2011


    http://www.nebohod.com – it will be electric airship 🙂

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